Why Moving Often Costs More Than You Expected

Why Moving Often Costs More Than You Expected

Hate to tell you this, but moving often costs more than you expect. Want to know the reason? I will break it down for you, so, it doesn’t catch you unaware.

During your move, you are possibly focused on transportation plans, deposits or closing costs, and planning on how to pack up your belongings (using the best packing checklist).

However, while you may have a certain amount in mind for your relocation, there are certain hidden costs that you may never have thought of. The truth is, moving often costs more than you think.

Extra moving expenses like packing, closing costs, and transportation fees quickly add up in the process.

Luckily for you, there are ways to plan and budget for all these moving-related costs, if you know the things to expect. Below, we will discuss reasons why moving is more expensive than you think.

1. Movers are Costly but will give you Peace of Mind

Planning to hire a professional moving company for your next move? We hope you are ready to pay huge costs. However, you will get value for your money.

While local movers normally cost below $1,000, long-distance moves cost beyond $4,000. The American Moving and Storage Association stated that the median cost to move out of state is about $4,300, depending on the median weight of 7,400 pounds and a median distance of 1,225 miles.

Even if you choose to rent a moving container and perform a hybrid DIY move, you will still spend far more than $1,000 for an interstate move.

For further information about the cost of an out-of-state move, read How Much Does It Cost to Move Cross Country

2. Moving Supplies May Cost More

Moving boxes, packing tape, and bubble wrap can add up. There are ways to reduce these costs. Check these tips:

  • Contact your local grocery stores and bookstores for boxes that are neatly used.
  • Search Reddit or Craigslist for moving boxes and supplies from someone who recently moved.
  • U-Haul offers a customer connect page, where you can look up your location for moving boxes and supplies.
  • You also can check around apartment complexes. Most complexes have moving boxes for residents who just moved in, even though you may have to search the dumpster.
  • If you are working with a moving company, moving boxes may be added on for the extra cost. Make sure you ask when you are booking.

In replacement of bubble wrap, consider old newspapers or pages torn from an old phonebook. You also could wrap some fragile items in linens like dish towels. Just make sure you are careful when packing and opt for bubble wrap for the items you would not have broken at all.

3. Living on a High Floor without a Lift

If there are many stairs to reach your flat (without a lift), moving will cost you a more. This will be because of two reasons. It will either take more time to move everything, so you will pay for the additional time, or the moving company will hire more workers to improve the speed of the move, but you will pay for the additional hands.

This is sadly one of the things that cannot be avoided. Some people might want to try and take most of their belongings downstairs themselves with the hope of optimizing the sped of the process but don’t forget that you have hired professionals who are trained on the best way to carry heavy or difficult stuff the right way without the risk of injury or damage.

4. You may need to bring in Expert Packers

Are you not certain you have enough time to pack up your belongings? Many busy professionals choose to hire professional packers to pack their possessions for them. While you will have less stressful (and time-saving) relocation experience when you hire packers; it also implies that your move will be expensive overall.

Hiring expert packers will possibly cost a few additional hundred dollars. Those moving to another state may be charged a flat rate for the packing extra, which can be a bit costly. Short-distance moves will often charge hourly for packing, so make sure you know the amount a mover will charge for these services before you hire them for your move.

5. Purchasing and Renting have Start-up Costs

When you are renting a home or apartment, start-up costs include something like a security deposit, your rent for the first and last month, a pet deposit, and an application fee. When you are buying, however, the initial costs can add up the cost even faster. Apart from your down payment, your new mortgage closing costs will possibly be in the thousands of bucks. Median closing costs often range from 2 to 5 percent of the cost of your home, as reported by Zillow.

These costs include everything from a fee for operating your credit report to a loan origination fee, home inspection fee, an appraisal fee, attorney’s fee, a survey fee, a title search, and other charges. You may be able to get the seller to pay for part or all of these costs, but that normally may be at the expense of a costly sales price on your new home. There is often no way around it: moving to another house or apartment will often come with a particular amount of unavoidable, advance costs.

6. Liability Coverage and 3rd Party Insurance Cost Additional Money

Unless you are going with the Released Value Protection, which is the most basic liability level, you will possibly have to pay up for additional protection or third-party insurance. Together with the free Released Value Protection option, state-to-state movers are mandated to offer Full-Value Protection, a more detailed liability coverage option.

Sadly, this protection type comes with additional cost. Also, not everything is covered. What it then covers will only give you the current value of your belongings, if the item is damaged or lost while on the move. Sure, many moving may go for third-party insurance to support their current liability coverage instead. This will cost more but may be worth the cost if you are relocating valuables.

7. Paying for Short-Term Storage or Lodging is much more Possible

During your move, it is uncommon that everything runs smoothly as planned. A scenario may come up; when you have a perfect sale process of you home, but the closing on your new home that is supposed to happen just some hours later got delayed, which implies that you are only left with the clothes on you and a large moving truck filled with your belongings, waiting for a smooth landing

The additional costs from these people unexpectedly increase into the thousands. You may not only just get a hotel room, but also had to pay for holding the moving truck in their possession. This can make you so sad and disorganized. This shows that moving is almost not as smooth and clean as we always hope for it to be. It seems like something will happen during the process, whether delay, document issue, or inclement weather.

8. Travel Expenses Increase

Families in fairy tales don’t ever require storage or short-term lodging, because they often can relocate from their old home into their new space in just one day. Even though this smooth case has happened, in reality, it is never the norm. You may spend one or two days in the hotel together with your family. For people moving to another part of the country, those two nights lodging might mean like two weeks.

Now, consider having three children and a spouse who needs to be fed and entertained more often. That mid-move enjoyment you were looking forward to might bring you as much stress and cost as a month in an ICU. Lodging is expensive, and so are three meals a day at an expensive restaurant. And you will need to fill the tank of the car every day or two as you are traveling; making sure everyone around is amused. This is not anyone doing, but just happened; hence, you have to move on.

9. Disassembly and Reassembly

Find out upfront the cost of disassembly and reassembly and do not assume those additional services are added in your quote. You can, certainly, opt to disassemble items yourself and reduce the costs, but if you don’t have the skills to do this, the best thing is to leave it to your movers and just pay for the additional expense. As this is an extra service, always remember to make booking. Else the timings your moving team will have estimated will be wrong; the move will take much time and you will later pay more money.     

10. Realtors are so Costly

Let’s be real; real estate agents are so costly. I’m not saying that their services are not worth the cost, or that they can’t get you more money for your home or a nice deal on the home you are buying, but paying them five to seven percent of your home’s purchase price can affect, especially if you don’t have much of equity already.

In my location, the median cost of a seller is 6% of your final home selling price. So, you should prepare to pay about $12,000 for a $200,000 home. For a $400,000 home, you will pay twice that.

If it takes a while to sell your home, you might get your buck’s worth. Similarly, if your home sells faster, you may spend much money while receiving little in return. Even if you don’t hire a Realtor and sell your home on your own, you will possibly have to pay to have your home listed in your local MLS, or several listing services, with pay for things like lawyer’s fees and title work. Either way, all the expenses associated with selling your home can add up fast and in a huge way.  

11. Your Furniture and Décor Might Look Weird

There are many reasons you may need new furniture or décor when you move. If you are moving into a larger space, you may need more furniture or just larger furniture. Maybe you have extra bedrooms to fill, a bigger space for your dining room table, or a completed basement that is begging for a pool table. Or maybe your items just look weird in their new home (this happens).

Your country blue couch, as well as a loveseat, may have looked in place in your little, rural apartment, but that could change when you move to a new, city loft. And if this move is to your first ‘adult’ home, you suddenly might figure out the time is right to upgrade your bean bag and tray tables to a classy sofa and dining room table. Either way, new furniture, and decorative materials are expensive. And you may not know this until it is too late.

12. Setting Up New Utilities Costs Money

Whether you are moving to another town or another country area, you will likely need to install gas, electricity, television, and internet services. Other utilities you will set up can include things like a new home security system, or water and sewage. It is all based on where you are relocating as well as the kind of utilities you need and desire, in your new home.

Many factors play into the amount you will spend on setting up these utilities, so you should call in advance, to determine and budget accordingly. In most cases, utility deposits can cost up to hundreds of dollars; of course, some utilities will waive these fees if you have great or positive credit. On the contrary, you might also have to spend money to disconnect utilities at your current home. Cable and satellite television providers, for instance, may need you to pay to terminate your contract.

How to Cut Costs when Moving

Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce moving costs; that if peradventure, things change, you can still accommodate it in your budget.

Many of the most convenient include:

Checking for deals and discounts: To get discounts on plastic wrap, cardboard boxes, and other moving supplies, check our Top 5 Places To Buy Cheap Moving Boxes in 2021. You can discounts on all-important moving supplies.

Purge your items: The fewer belongings you are moving, the easier and cheaper you will be able to move. So, ensure you thoroughly check your belongings and remove the things you won’t need before the move. This will save you from renting a storage unit and also from paying a moving company to haul unnecessary items.

Sourcing for free moving boxes and supplies: Definitely, you can search for free moving boxes at your local schools, library, recycling centers, and big box stores.

Don’t move in peak moving season: Peak relocation season often starts from Memorial Day to Labor Day. As there is an increase in demand during the summer, so the moving prices also increase. To avoid paying beyond necessary, we suggest you arrange your move to late fall or winter when movers’ rates are often lower.

Saving receipts for tax removals: During your move, ensure all your moving receipts and donation receipts are well documented. During tax season, you may be eligible to claim a deduction of your moving expenses and/or your donation value on your tax returns.


Regardless of your budget, Adams Van Lines has made the booking of the best movers so convenient for a job. All our moving teams are trained, insured, and licensed, so when you hire us, your move will be in the best hands without hidden costs.

For more assistance, organizing, and planning a budget for your move, check our detailed blog section. We give you a personalized moving cost checklist, individual tasks list, helpful recommendations coupons, and email reminders. We wish you a smooth move!

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